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Amaravati : Construction of Naidu’s Dream City and the Question of Land Acquisition

The city of Amaravati is being developed by acquiring land from the farmers of the villages. Whether it is at the expense of the livelihoods of these poor people, is the question.

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The famous Stupa of Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh. Wikimedia
  • Amaravati is going to be the new capital of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The development of Amaravati is going on through acquisition of land from the farmers.
  • The scheme developed by the Andhra Pradesh State Government for the purpose is called Land Pool Scheme.

The state of Andhra Pradesh is undergoing a major change whilst having its capital transferred from Hyderabad to Amaravati. The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu is aiming at building his new capital city to the likes of other world class cities of Singapore, Japan and China. He wants to be the one who can give his people a better city and a better standard of living. He, along with his Ministry has envisaged a plan which would help them in acquiring land from the farmers and in building the new city, it is known as the Land Pooling Scheme. Under this scheme they have succeeded in acquiring 33,000 acres of land from over 29 villages. Thullur was the first village that was chosen to be worked on for the construction of the capital city but later the State Government altered their choice to pick Mandadam and Uddandarayunipalem villages. However, they did not neglect Thullur altogether. In fact, it was reported in The Hindu that most villagers of Thullur are now the residents of two-storied houses with vehicles of their own. Most people are enthralled with how their lives have changed with the advent of the Land Pooling Scheme of the Andhra Government.

A road in AP. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons.
A road in AP. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons.

However, the critics are of the opinion that the aforementioned scheme of the Government is just another way to deceive the people and acquire their land forcibly, under the farce of voluntary surrender of land. It was also stated by them that LPS is all but a scheme to somehow by-pass the strict rules and regulations of the Land Acquisition Act. The Leader of the Opposition Party, Y.S. Jagamohan Reddy told The Hindu, “What the government did was to take away large chunks of fertile land from farmers and pass them on to the corporate in highly questionable deals,”. He accused LPS of being an idea of “land fooling” and not voluntary acquisition of land.

A road in Amaravati. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons
A road in Amaravati. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

Indeed, there are certain parts of the city where land has been acquired from the farmers but adequate compensation has not been provided by the State Government. These farmers have no clue about what the following days would usher in for them. These fertile lands lay bare without even a structure being built on them. Therefore, the Land Pooling Scheme, even though it sounds extremely promising at first, has a number of shortcomings as well.

A building in Amaravati. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons
A building in Amaravati. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

The real estate prices having been swooping high since the development of the city was started by Naidu. Agents recall being called by investors from Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad these days because now they want to invest in the real estate of this rising city. There is a lot going on regarding the construction plan of the city which is resulting in boosting the real estate business.

The central government led by BJP has handed the Andhra Government a solid amount and the YSR Congress have expressed their desire to contribute. Seems like, everybody wants to have a part to play in Naidu’s dream project. Whether he will succeed in his endeavor or not is the big question.

-Prepared by a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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  • Aparna Gupta

    I think it is good if people who are giving their land are getting a flat in two storey building, it is a sign of development.

  • AJ Krish

    It is really good that the government is planning to create a world-class city. The people are all overwhelmed and excited to join in, but they hardly seems to have a plan. The farmers have lost their livelihood and for what exactly?

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Farmers cannot be moved from their lands. You either not take it or make sure that they get the land money as well as permanent jobs in the planned city

SHARE
  • Aparna Gupta

    I think it is good if people who are giving their land are getting a flat in two storey building, it is a sign of development.

  • AJ Krish

    It is really good that the government is planning to create a world-class city. The people are all overwhelmed and excited to join in, but they hardly seems to have a plan. The farmers have lost their livelihood and for what exactly?

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Farmers cannot be moved from their lands. You either not take it or make sure that they get the land money as well as permanent jobs in the planned city

Next Story

Widespread Agricultural Distress: Hyderabad Social Entrepreneur Uses Big Data To Change Farmers’ Lives

The app, which provides all farming-related information and communication in Telugu on a single platform, is significantly reducing the time and cost of cultivation for a farmer in real time.

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crops
The startup, which can sustain for next six months on its own, is receiving proposals from different investment companies and Naveen says he will go with whoever is close to his idea. Pixabay

At a time of widespread agricultural distress caused by successive droughts, unremunerative farming and debt-trapped rural economies, a young man with his mobile app is showing how change can be brought in the life of farmers at the grassroot level.

In 2016, V. Naveen Kumar, who had no personal knowledge of agriculture, was so moved by the suicide of a farmer in a village in his native Warangal district of Telangana that for the next three months he ran around like a man possessed, meeting farmers to understand their problems. He interacted with agri-entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to find if there is a way he can bring some change in the lives of the financially besieged farmers.

Today, over 1.24 lakh farmers in Telugu-speaking states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh use his mobile app NaPanta to avail a host of services, all free of cost. And this MBA degree holder is satisfied that he is contributing his mite to bring some change in the way they practise agriculture.

NaPanta, which was started in June 2017, saw, surprisingly, thousands of farmers download the app. The launch of the pocket-friendly Reliance Jio and the boom in use of WhatsApp brought more people on the platform.

crops

While the information on app will clear regular doubts of farmers, for specific doubts a farmer can ask questions to a panel which includes agriculture scientist and experts.
Pixabay

The app, which provides all farming-related information and communication in Telugu on a single platform, is significantly reducing the time and cost of cultivation for a farmer in real time.

“I am confident that if farmers follow my platform, they will be able to save 20 per cent on expenditure and get 10 per cent extra yield. We can make 30 per cent difference,” V. Naveen Kumar, Founder and Managing Director, NaPanta, told IANS.

While the country has many apps to help farmers, there is no single app covering the entire gamut of agriculture activity ranging from selection of crops to locate the market offering highest price for their produce. From advisory services and weather information to market prices and e-commerce, the digital platform offers the comprehensive agri eco-system.

The app has tools like crop expenditure (which helps farmers track their expenses in an organized manner), crop protection, weekly agro advisory, agri forum, market price, agri e-commerce, crop insurance, weather, food processing technologies, and soil testing information.

A farmer can also buy or rent an agri-equipment as per the requirements of his crop cycle and can also sell his produce for the highest price without any middleman.

The app also allows farmers to access real-time and dynamic information pertaining to daily market prices of 300 agri-commodities across over 3,500 markets, along with three-year price trend.

Currently available in Telugu and English, NaPanta App provides complete pest and disease management details, covering 90 crops and with suggestions about 3,000 pesticide products.

Naveen Kumar, who earlier worked as a Credit Relationship Manager in ICICI Bank and later as Credit Risk Manager with HDFC Bank before co-founding apnaloanbazaar.com, a retail loan distribution services portal, says he is trying to build core competence among the farmers.

According to him, for all their requirements, small and marginal farmers depend on third parties like distributors of the companies.

“With no knowledge of agriculture practices and requirements of a particular farmer, they try to push their products for some extra profit and as a result the farmers either suffer crop losses or end up incurring huge expenditure.”

With agriculture extension officers of the government more focused on clerical related activities rather than extending actual help, he believes there is a huge gap between farmers and the government initiated activity.

“Farming is not depending on a single advisory. It is a combination of various services. We identified all that a farmer needs in day to day life and ensured that he has easy access to the advisory so that whenever he gets a doubt, he can get it cleared then and there,” he said.

Naveen said several states including Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu were showing interest in the platform. The app will be available in Hindi and Tamil in June-July this year. “If everything goes well in next 3 to 5 years, we will have our presence in 7-9 states,” said Naveen, who heads a five-member team.

While the information on app will clear regular doubts of farmers, for specific doubts a farmer can ask questions to a panel which includes agriculture scientist and experts.

NaPanta, an incubatee of International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) also gets the institute’s help in business activity, reaching the farmers and engagement with agri-input companies.

farmers

“With no knowledge of agriculture practices and requirements of a particular farmer, they try to push their products for some extra profit and as a result the farmers either suffer crop losses or end up incurring huge expenditure.” Pixabay

The startup, which can sustain for next six months on its own, is receiving proposals from different investment companies and Naveen says he will go with whoever is close to his idea.

With huge amount of data being generated on the digital platform, Naveen embarked on building big-data architecture with crowd-sourcing information. It is building database with information on major crops in a particular area, major insects which affect a crop, cropping system, sequential cropping model, pesticides and where the farmers sell their produce.

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He is confident that this data will be a goldmine in the coming years.

“This kind of crowd-sourcing information is not available in the agriculture sector in India. We are getting information from actual farmers and not third parties.” (IANS)